Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Man arrested over alleged link to online scams amounting to more than $200,000

SINGAPORE – A 24-year-old man was arrested on Friday (July 16) for suspected involvement in at least 15 cases of e-commerce scams involving the sale of computer graphics cards.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the scams amount to more than $200,000, said the police, who received several reports early this month.

The victims said an online seller of computer graphics cards at discounted prices on Carousell failed to make deliveries after payments via bank transfers were made.

Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department identified the man and arrested him on Friday.

He will be charged in court on Saturday.

If convicted of cheating, he faces a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Due to the pandemic, there has been an ongoing global shortage of computer graphics cards.

Chip manufacturers have been forced to slow or stop production, and demand for the cards has spiked.

The police say people making online purchases should take these precautions:

– Use payment options that release money to the seller only upon delivery. Avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers to the seller.

– Be mindful that scammers may entice buyers to contact them directly through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or WeChat by offering a better or faster deal if bank transfer payments are made directly to them. They may use a local bank account or provide a copy of an NRIC or driver’s licence to make you believe that they are genuine sellers.

– Buy only from authorised sellers or reputable sources, especially for high-value items.

The public can log on to scamalert.sg or call 1800-722-6688 for more information.

Those with information on scams can call the police on 1800-255-0000 or submit details at this website.

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